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Online Re-registration of DMCA Agents Required by the United States Copyright Office by December 31, 2017.

December 8, 2017

By: Susan G. L. Glovsky and Samuel J. Sussman

  • A new registration requirement places companies at risk of copyright suits over material hosted on their websites.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) "safe harbor" provision allows companies that host websites that include user-generated content posted on the website to avoid liability for copyright infringement for posted material that potentially infringes another's copyright.  In order to receive protection from copyright suits based on user-generated content, companies are required by the DMCA to designate a specific person, a "DMCA Agent," to receive and resolve all notices of copyright infringement.  A company's "DMCA Agent" must be clearly identified on the company's website and must be registered with the Copyright Office.

Companies that have registered a "DMCA Agent" must now re-register their "DMCA Agent" online with the Copyright Office by December 31, 2017, unless the previous registration was made online after December 1, 2016.  For companies with websites hosting user-generated content, this is a critical deadline as failure to comply could lead to the loss of the protection of the DMCA "safe harbor" provision.  The new registrations of "DMCA Agents" must now be done via the Copyright Office's new online filing system.

When making an online filing, companies should consider taking advantage of a new opportunity to designate a title or department, either internal to the company or from an outside service, instead of a specific person.  The new system requires renewal filings every three years.

Go to: to register or re-register a DMCA Agent